Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Category Archives: Thoughts

Shifting from Gamification to Playful Design

This is a light­ly edit­ed tran­script of a short lec­ture I deliv­ered some time ago at an off-site gath­er­ing orga­nized by one of NL’s largest con­struc­­tion-ser­vices busi­ness­es. The event explored the poten­tial of games, game design and gam­i­fi­ca­tion for prop­er­ty devel­op­ment and con­struc­tion. This talk cre­ates a com­mon frame of under­stand­ing about gam­i­fi­ca­tion and why […]

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New Planning Methods

This is a write­up of my talk at the event ‘Nieuwe Plan­ningsmeth­o­d­en’ (‘New Plan­ning Meth­ods’) in Pakhuis de Zwi­jger, Ams­ter­dam on Octo­ber 8, 2015. Hel­lo. My name is Kars Alfrink. I am a design­er and part­ner at Hub­bub, a small play­ful design agency, based in Utrecht and Berlin. Hub­bub helps organ­i­sa­tions do things with games, […]

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Slack’s emoji reactions are playful product design in action

Last week Slack launched their Emo­ji reac­tions fea­ture. This allows you to attach emo­ji to a mes­sage and for oth­ers to chime in and vote for an emo­ji or add their own. I am very excit­ed by this for a num­ber of rea­sons. We use Slack fair­ly heav­i­ly. We have chan­nels for spe­cif­ic projects and […]

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Three Perspectives on Serious Games

At the end of last year I was invit­ed to give a talk at Cre­ative Morn­ings Utrecht on the theme “edu­ca­tion”. I fig­ured it would be a nice oppor­tu­ni­ty to share the things I’ve learned over the past 5+ years of prac­tic­ing applied game design. I tried to con­nect a wide range of sources with […]

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Engagement loops are the best way to motivate people using game mechanics

It has been a plea­sure to see our asso­ciate Sebas­t­ian Deterding’s think­ing evolve through his pre­sen­ta­tions over the years. It has been a treat to read every new deck and to fol­low his rea­son­ing in detail. You can also trace a very dis­tinct line about games, user expe­ri­ence, psy­chol­o­gy and ethics that has become more […]

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An Outline of Playful Design

In the sum­mer of last year we announced a new direc­tion for the stu­dio, which boils down to us no longer fram­ing our work as game design, but as play­ful design. We are inter­est­ed in design­ing a wide range of play­things, and we are also inter­est­ed in design­ing things that aren’t pri­mar­i­ly meant for play […]

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Goat rodeo, issue games, and Bycatch

When Sub­alekha was pre­sent­ing Bycatch at Play­ful back in Octo­ber 2014, at some point Ian Wil­ley tweet­ed the fol­low­ing: I was intrigued by the expres­sion “goat rodeo” and imme­di­ate­ly looked it up. It turns out Ian wasn’t refer­ring to games about chas­ing goats with las­sos. In stead, he’s talk­ing about sit­u­a­tions that I tend to […]

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The Gameful City, a preview of my chapter for The Gameful World

This year, MIT Press will pub­lish The Game­ful World, a book edit­ed by Stef­fen P. Walz and Sebas­t­ian Deter­d­ing to which I’ve con­tributed a chap­ter. The book will cov­er approach­es in game­ful and play­ful design, how it can be applied to a range of fields and its com­mon issues. For exam­ple, Ian Bogost will expand […]

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Notes on project AJI (part 3)

This is the third and final part of a post about AJI, a self-com­mis­­sioned research project about pub­lic protests. Read the first and sec­ond post or con­tin­ue read­ing below. The most impor­tant idea is that a protest is a per­for­mance of civic resis­tance and sol­i­dar­i­ty and as such it has a broad swath of spec­ta­tors […]

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Notes on project AJI (part 2)

This is the sec­ond part of a post about AJI, a self-com­mis­­sioned research project about pub­lic protests. Read the first post or con­tin­ue read­ing below. Look­ing back on the talks we gave in the past few years, they’re obvi­ous­ly (and nat­u­ral­ly) prece­dents for what we’re doing with AJI now. I’m real­ly hap­py we’re return­ing to […]

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